My excitement to return to Florence (as always) was practically boiling over the few days before I left (which I almost can’t even believe was a few months ago at this point). I could barely contain myself just thinking about everything that I was about to do, and see, and experience. Life in Italy is truly a beautiful life. In fact, when we are there, life in Italy feels like the best life.
the quiet oltrarno neighborhood will always be our home away from home in Florence
But if you follow me on Instagram, well, then you know that the start of my trip was anything but glamorous, and a far, far cry from my “best life.” Read on, dear reader:
“I’m jet-lagged, it took me two days to get here, my luggage is lost, I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 3 days now, I haven’t brushed my teeth since before I left, I’ve been washing my face with hand soap. . .oh yeah, and I think that I smell pretty bad 🤦🏻♀️ Basically anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. . .but, I’m here 🙋🏻♀️ The grocery store is about to open, which means that I can get some shampoo and a toothbrush. And it’s a new day, and I’m in Italy 💁🏻♀️ It’s definitely taken A LOT to get here, but I am ready to make the most of today. . .which basically means eating and drinking my way through the city in my 3 day old smelly clothes 🤷🏻♀️ .”
Yep, it took me about 40 hours to get to Italy. My luggage was lost for the first 5 days. Oh, and did I mention that it poured rain every single day, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find a single store selling rain boots? And to make matters worse, my sneakers were so wet that they would make squishy sounds when I walked. But hey, at least I was in Tuscany.
my perfect little kitchen (washing machine included!!)
and while it was raining cats and dogs outside, this cozy bed was a complete Godsend for me
Although I could have happily filled my days with what feels like endless hours of shopping, wandering, perusing markets, and eating; I was actually looking forward to a slightly more structured schedule. Yep, as you might have guessed, I was going back to school. And neither the rain, nor my lost luggage could dampen my excitement.
But isn’t this just the strangest thing? I mean, I could barely wait to finish the last day of school for my Master’s Degree program to proclaim that I was never, ever (like really never) going to endure another day of school in my life. And now here I am, seeking out every opportunity I can find to cram in some extra hours of Italian school.
After researching a lot of different programs in Florence (because as a word to the wise, not all programs are created equal), I happily settled on the ABC school. But in all honestly, the ABC school was completely the easy choice for me. Personally, I find that I thrive in a language program that has dedicated time for grammar, and also dedicated time for conversation; and ABC (pronounced: ah, bee, chee) had just that.
After a few months of being not-so-good about studying (keyword for: not really studying at all), the ABC school quickly brought me up to speed with so many new things that I honestly didn’t even know existed in the Italian language. In fact, post-class, most of my conversations with Ryan started with, “I didn’t even know that…”
And while going back to school does have its challenges (like it’s hard), I find that I really crave that feeling of having my brain stretched. Even in the pouring rain. Even without rain boots. Even when wearing the same clothes to school for almost the first full week. Because at the very same time, I was back in Tuscany, back in school, back at my favorite apartment, and everything was just as it should be. Well, close enough.